2014/10/16 14:05 Daniela Sangiorgi, “Bringing Complexity into Service Design Research”, #RSD3

Daniela Sangiorgi, first day plenary presentation at #RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/

Introduction by Manuela Aguirre

  • Daniela is at Imagination Lancaster, Lancaster U.

[Daniela Sangiorgi]

Not an expert in systems theory of systems design, will do best

Are of research is service design

  • Had done research into complexity
  • Can understand perspectives in practice

Originally from Milano

  • Had a few years in Denmark
  • Moved into group in Lancaster

Imagination Lancaster

  • Have been following relationship between services and design
  • Have been looking into change issues and implementation issues

Models of design evolution (from Buchanan, 2002:11)

  • Sumbols, thinkgs, action, thought
  • Smbolss, things,

Design 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 Organizational Transformation Design, 4.0 Social Transformation Design

Four generations of design methods

  • First
  • Sceond
  • Third
  • Fourth:

Service design originals:

  • Service as an object of design, foucus ont he design process and design management
  • Service as a complex interface, focus on specificity of design intervention

Interaction paradigm

Emerging practices in design of service interactions:  with complexity, and participation

  • from one to one to many to many;
  • from sequential to open-ended interactions;
  • from within to amongst organizations

Service design is:

  • scaling up

Design for Services Map:  Meroni and Sangiori, 2011

  • Services growing in complexity

First project:  service car

Then changing product service for manufacturing company

Support aging

Different levels and modes of practice:  communications, service experience, … policy

Embedded designer, …

Systems metaphors and approaches (Jackson)

  • Systems as simple or complex
  • Participants as unitary, pluralist or coercive


  • Simple systems:  hard systems thinking, soft systems approaches, emancipatory systems thinking
  • Complex systems:  systems dynamics or organizational cybernetics or complexity theory, soft systems approaches, postmodern systems thinking

Philosophies:  functionalist, interpretative, emancipatory, postmodern

Drivers for complexity:

  • Scale:  blueprint to service ecology
  • Participation: co-design to co-creation
  • Transformation: …. to …

(1) Scaling

Experience-based design in education system redesign

Service systems

  • Service supply system, leading to service blueprint
  • Complex service systems (Maglio), leading to service ecology

Service blueprint, Zeithaml and Bitner

Reflects interdependence and interaction (applying Jackson)

Multi-level service design

Functionalist perspective informs service operations and development … different from a service ecology coming from interaction design (Nardi, 2000)

Service ecology used a lot in service designs, emerging structure

  • We see some of this in Gigamapping

Interpretative perpsective is used within a collaborative system

(2) Participation

Customer participation

In some cases, seen as a problem

  • Customer as a “partial employee” (Bitner)

Service co-design: setting up user involvement where users and frontline personnel are given generative tools

Requisite variety:  who should participate?

Pluralistic and inclusive approach

Participation as service coproduction

  • Often used in public services with customers

Participation as empowerment and emancipation

  • May be involved with community or citizen empowerment
  • Community action research

Social change projects, e.g. alcohol reduction

Experience based design

Critical systems heuristics:  who will benefit from these designs

Service design and emancipation has limited critical reflection on power dynamics and boundary making

Different approaches in co-design from co-creation

(3) Transformation

Focus not on solutions, but on capacity for change

One way to do this is by embedding design

Can find toolkit and design labels, e.g. Social Innovation Lab for Kent

Hard to embed design, organizations are full of design legacies

Formative context is a set of institutional arrangements and cognitive imagers (Ciborra and Lanzara 1994)

Interpretative:  how to change the minds of managers

Services are indeterminate, because they are performances

  • Can’t plan and control, can plan and condition

Generative emergence (Goldstein 1999)

Design in Use:  not just when designed

Design as infrastructuring

  • As platforms or infrastructures for agonistic public spaces

Postmodern systems thinking

Existence of tacit system perspectives and philosophies

Systemic design concerned with higher order systems that encompass multiple subsystems (Jones)

Make tacit understanding of services and systems explicit and positive (Jackson)

Role, influence an disposition of ecology of actors (Suchman)

Reflexivity of practitioners (Sangiorgi)

Sketchnote of presentation by Daniela Sangiorgi, drawn by Patricia Kambitsch at https://twitter.com/playthink/status/522866602690101249


#design, #systems-thinking